Effects of dobutamine on Gorlin and continuity equation valve areas and valve resistance in valvular aortic stenosis

Am J Cardiol. 1992 Nov 1;70(13):1175-9. doi: 10.1016/0002-9149(92)90051-y.


Previous studies demonstrated changes in aortic valve area calculated by the Gorlin equation under conditions of varying transvalvular flow in patients with valvular aortic stenosis (AS). To distinguish between flow-dependence of the Gorlin formula and changes in actual orifice area, the Gorlin valve area and 2 other measures of severity of AS, continuity equation valve area and valve resistance, were calculated under 2 flow conditions in 12 patients with AS. Transvalvular flow rate was varied by administration of dobutamine. During dobutamine infusion, right atrial and left ventricular end-diastolic pressures decreased, left ventricular peak systolic pressure and stroke volume increased, and systolic arterial pressure did not change. Heart rate increased by 19%, cardiac output by 38% and mean aortic valve gradient by 25%. The Gorlin valve area increased in all 12 patients by 0.03 to 0.30 cm2. The average Gorlin valve area increased from 0.67 +/- 0.05 to 0.79 +/- 0.06 cm2 (p < 0.001). In contrast, the continuity equation valve area (calculated in a subset of 6 patients) and valve resistance did not change with dobutamine. The data support the conclusion that flow-dependence of the Gorlin aortic valve area, rather than an increase in actual orifice area, is responsible for the finding that greater valve areas are calculated at greater transvalvular flow rates. Valve resistance is a less flow-dependent means of assessing severity of AS.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Valve / drug effects*
  • Aortic Valve / pathology
  • Aortic Valve / physiopathology*
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / pathology
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / physiopathology*
  • Blood Flow Velocity / drug effects
  • Dobutamine / pharmacology*
  • Echocardiography
  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Mathematical Computing


  • Dobutamine